Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, was due to chair a meeting of the Government’s crisis committee Cobra in response to the bad weather and power cuts.

a short break from hell again, and all our own fawlt

"Bit Early, aren't you?" As a cheery welcome to the establishment in which you are paying to spend the night, this lacks a certain charm. I did once have a less friendly welcome to a hotel, a few years ago, but only when I missed my way one night, ending up at the house next door and being chased off by the enraged occupant. "f--- off, you stupid old bag!" he screamed. Bit rich, really, from a malodorous, fat fiftysomething in a string vest, but that's men for you.

Double life, singular fiction

THE SECRET LIFE OF WILKIE COLLINS by William M Clarke, Alan Sutton Publishing pounds 9.99

The history of popular culture; 10 Basil Brush

Har, har, har, har, har, har, har...boom boom. OK, so the stuffed fox who enlivened the odd Saturday tea-time in the mid-Seventies isn't going to make anybody's list of the 500 most significant figures of the 20th century, but in a week in which Sooty has been sold for more than a million, it's worth asking why Basil, an infinitely more entertaining puppet, is hanging around on street corners selling copies of the Big Issue.

Letter: Latin lover

Sir: Paul Vallely implies that those who want Latin and incense in their worship are intransigent conservatives. I like Latin in my worship and English too if it is good English. I also like the use of the ancient symbol of worship called incense. Basil Hume said "every liturgy should have dignity, order, beauty, an awareness of the presence of God." Latin and incense help to provide these along with other languages and sacramentals. Liking them has nothing to do with being conservative or progressive.

A prayer for marriage


Two owners banned from all tracks for 10 years

Two owners, Patricia Hamilton and Jim McDonald, were yesterday warned off for 10 years each by the Jockey Club for their involvement with Pretty Average, a winner last year at Thirsk, who was found to have run in unlicensed races under the name of Short'n Sweet.

LETTER: The Ven Basil Wingfield Digby

Basil Wingfield Digby came of a Dorset family whose ancestors had lived in and around Sherborne for some four centuries, and which has for generations provided clergy to the Church of England.

Letter: In defence of King Leopold

From Mr John Cairns

Obituary: Basil Easterbrook

Basil Easterbrook's name was rarely seen on the national stage, but for those millions of readers who avidly followed football and cricket through the pages of the many publications of Kemsley and then Thomson Regional Newspapers he was the supreme authority.


Having bonded the City desk of the Daily Telegraph, Lucy Parker has now turned her attention to her brother's public relations outfit. Last Sunday the human resources consultant put Alan Parker and his Brunswick agency through some soul-searching at London's Basil Hotel - doubtless to get them drawing on inner reserves for the long defence of their besieged client, Forte.

Maxwell director drops severance claim

Basil Brookes, former finance director of Maxwell Communication Corporation, the main public company in the Maxwell group, is dropping a pounds 300,000 lawsuit against company administrators appointed from Price Waterhouse. One of the administrators said an out-of-court settlement was reached, but declined to give details. The lawsuit was filed following a ruling in March by the House of Lords that administrators and receivers who kept employees on for more than 14 days after firms went bust were liable for severance pay. MCC collapsed after Robert Maxwell died in November 1991.

Letter: Chairman's brief

From Mr Basil Dewing

Playing for the game, not the medals

From Mr Basil Kentish

PM's destiny poised on a knife edge

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Arts and Entertainment
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
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Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

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